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The sheer size and remoteness also mean that Kanha is often less busy than other parks and now that vehicle numbers are limited and advance booking is recommended, it offers a superior safari experience. Kanha is home to barasingha, chital, wild boar, sloth bears, jungle cats, wild dogs, leopards and the Bengal tiger.
Under Project Tiger, Kanha was divided into two major zones: the inner core and surrounding buffer. Approximately 25% of the reserve is accessible for tourism. Three entry gates service the reserve: Kisli on the western side received the most attention in the 1990s and has witnessed a boom of hotels and lodges; Mukki in the south, is a quieter gate with a handful of lodges, and Sarhi in the north has just opened to encourage vehicle dispersal.
It is estimated that the reserve is home to 114 tigers, which given the size of the area, is a reasonably healthy population.
Kanha is accessible by a short flight to airports in Nagpur, Jabalpur or Raipur followed by a private car transfer of up to six hours depending on which airport you use. Kanha combines well with Bandhavgarh, Pench and Satpura.
Morning and afternoon safaris are undertaken by jeep and you are accompanied by an English-speaking naturalist (usually employed by the camp you are staying in) and an official park guide who you collect at the entrance to the park.
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Naturalists at the two lodges responded well to the individual needs of us as their guests. I showed an interest in the local school in Kanha, and Chin took us there, introduced us to the head and showed us a classroom - very interesting and insightful into the local community.
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